Thursday, January 25, 2007
The Real Ronaldo
He is by far, to me, one of the most unfortunate footballers to grace the world stage. Initially blessed with Cheetah-like pace, jaw-dropping skills, and some brute strength, our fat favourite Ronaldo proved his metal with Barcelona, where he bedazzled himself to superstardom, or more aptly to footballistic enlighenment.
Then came Inter Milan, where he won my heart, and in the early stages proved his record signing fee worthwhile. But then enter "Knee Injury 1". It sidelined him for one and a half years, and thus began the great man's downfall, from which he never fully recovered. Anyway, he did medically recover from "Knee Injury 1", and made his much awaited comeback against Lazio in the Italian Cup semifinal all those years ago. But then 7 minutes into the game, enter "Knee Injury 2". Heartbreaking. In those days this injury-filled genius was my hero, my inspiration and my love. And to see him out for another year and a half was close to devastating. The same knee, the same ligament snapped again. Unluckiness personified.
I don't think he ever recovered from that. That was the time he put on weight, and then kinda betrayed the club that helped his 3-year healing, when he left for Real Madrid from Inter. For me that was his worst decision, but women and gold are similar, so...
Amidst all this pain, he did feel sheer ecstasy. This was at the 2002 World Cup were he scored 8 goals, and led his country to yet another football crown. But not one of his goals where brilliant. They were good, and it seemed that at least his finishing was back on track.
But after the world cup, nothing much happened for him. Real did what Real does best - it allowed Ronaldo to stagnate into this large-if-not-overweight deflated balloon, who could hardly ever find the goal. He struggled at Real. Everyone somehow does. There were so many stars in that over-rated team and not one of them seemed to be making sense at the club, with Mr Beckham making a close second on the list of "half-failures".
The 30 year old, however, has one last chance to prove himself yet again. The struggling Red-Milan club have almost definitely signed him, and the soft heart that I have for the ex-maestro beats for him to regain some lost glory. Completely "abused" at the 2006 World Cup and with all his injuries, this 2-time-world-player-of-the-year piece of talent should have become much bigger than he is now. Well good luck old man, for it's un-wreteched luck that can sometime turn the tables and derive the best out of you.
P.S. Dont forget to enjoy the game.